Babywearing Hampton Roads

Keeping caregivers and children close since 2013

Get Carried Away: Churners & Collectors

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How to Spot a Churner

churner (noun) – A Babywearer who strives to try many carriers while retaining only a few. This is typically achieved by continually buying, selling, and trading carriers.

A churner will:

*Be knowledgeable of many different brands and blends of carriers through personal experience.
*Have advance knowledge of the inner workings of the United States Postal Service. Additionally, the tellers at the churner’s local post office will likely know him or her by name.
*Have a stockpile of packaging material stored nearby the carriers.
*Be a frequent poster on the babywearing swap groups. Because of this, the churner’s feedback will be long and frequently updated.
*Have a fluctuating “stash” and will likely never have everything at once because with each new purchase one or more items will move on. 

The benefits of being a churner are that you get to try many things without losing too much money, you get to “meet” lots of other babywearers on the swap, you have an excellent feedback score, and you’re great friends with your postal deliverer.

The side effects of churning may be bothersome. These include an unyielding need to keep buying, selling, and trading just to try new things, hours wasted stalking the web for new carriers, weariness from weekly visits to the post office, and a postal deliverer who thinks you’re crazy. Restraining orders might be taken against the more diligent package-stalking churners.

Word of advice for the aspiring churner: Take out stock in the United States Postal Service as you will be investing a lot of money into them.

* * * * * * *

How to Spot a Collector

collector (noun) – a babywearer who accumulates many carriers with the intent to keep them. This is typically achieved by diligently reading reviews and seeing photos of potential carriers that are of interest to the collector’s taste. A collector seeks, locates, and acquires carriers by frequenting various babywearing forums and swap groups.

A collector will:

*be a frequent poster on the babywearing forums and swap groups requesting reviews and photos of a particular carrier that the collector has set their eyes on
*have a medium to large stash that hardly fluctuates. Carriers will have been in the collector’s possession for at least 6 months or longer before being sold or moved into the “permastash” pile.
*save certain carriers that are no longer used (said carrier was outgrown or not supportive enough as baby got older). A collector will pass it on to his/her children as “legacy” carriers or save it to carry future grandchildren. If it is a wrap, a collector will save it to be used as blanket or scarf.

The benefits of being a collector are that you have a stash that is “you”. Not only are your carriers practical, but it fits your and your family’s needs and personality. You get to “meet” lots of other babywearers along your journey of finding your “permastash”. You will also be knowledgeable of many different brands and blends through personal experience and will be able to help answer questions such as how do they feel in hand, how do they wear, how to care for them, etc.
The side effects of collecting may be bothersome. These include spending hours frequenting babywearing forums and swap groups to read reviews, check out photos, and post ISOs (in search of) that may not get answered. It may also cost a fair amount of money if the carrier you’re hoping to collect is HTF (hard to find) as it is no longer made, only a few was produced, or it is HSA (highly sought after) because everyone is looking for it. Finding a place for your collection may be tricky if you do not want your family to know how large your stash is.

Word of advice for the aspiring collector: Start off as a “churner” to find out what carriers appeal to you aesthetically and see if you and your baby enjoy babywearing in it. Make building your collection enjoyable by talking with other babywearers and making friends in your community, online forums, and FaceBook groups. Host or attend babywearing playdates. Not only will your children have a great time, but you get to geek over different blends, learn how grippy a carrier is, see and try it on before searching for one yourself, etc. Lastly, have fun building “your” babywearing collection!

Many thanks to Jade & Janet for contributing to this post!

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